Thursday, 17 April 2008

Simply to glorify his name

"God never punishes his people. That is, their sufferings are never designed to satisfy justice; nor are they always even chastisements in the proper sense of the word. They are not in all cases sent to correct evils, to repress pride, or to wean from the world. God often afflicts his people and his church simply to enable them the better to glorify his name. It is an unchristian disposition, therefore, which leads us always to ask, 'when afflictions are sent upon ourselves or others, 'Why is this? What have we or they done to call forth this expression of parental displeasure or solicitude? What does God mean to rebuke?' It may be that our sufferings are chastisements, that is, that they are designed to correct some evil of the heart or life, but this is not to be inferred from the simple fact that they are sufferings. The greater part of Paul's sufferings were not chastisements. They were designed simply to show to all ages the power of the grace of God; to let men see what a man could cheerfully endure, and rejoice that he was called upon to endure, for the sake of the Lord Jesus."

Charles Hodge, 2 Corinthians, Banner of Truth Trust, 1959, p163

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